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JNU reacts to report on sexual harassment cases

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JNU

New Delhi: The Delhi Commission for Women has released a reported report on 26 November which stated that the highest number of sexual harassment cases have been reported from Jawaharlal Nehru University.

JNU reacted to this report and attributed it to more sensitization in the varsity. Students are more aware and not afraid to report any kind of wrong behavior.

The university credited the committee for the increased sensitization. JNU has a committee named ‘Gender Sensitization Committee against Sexual Harassment (GSCASH)’ which is known for working in a fair, neutral and confidential manner.

A member of the GSCASH told The Hindu that the highest number of reported cases shows the extent of sensitization and response from the university. The report also has said that all the 51 cases were addressed.

The Delhi University’s reluctance to provide data has raised quite a few eyebrows as the varsity with lesser restrictions is more prone to untoward incidents.

In JNU, the sensitization has worked because students expressed solidarity with it. Moreover, a bulk on JNU students is mature as they are from the post-graduate courses. Other colleges and varsities mostly have undergraduate students.

While Delhi has been branded as unsafe for women but one has to admit that the perception about its universities has been good. Parents do not generally stop their children from going to Delhi for the purpose of education.

Though there are justifications behind JNU’s reaction to the report, but one expects that the number of cases on sexual harassment should go down considerably for proper implementation of the sensitization program.

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Top US Women Diplomats Speak Out on Sexual Harassment

Women from all sectors are coming out to speak against sexual harassment cases, this time U.S women diplomats lashed out against such incidents

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FILE - Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, who served as the US Ambassador in Malta, addresses participants during a gay pride parade organized by the Malta Gay Rights Movement in Sliema, outside Valletta, June 30, 2012.

As U.S. lawmakers grapple with allegations of sexual harassment in their ranks, some senior American diplomats are speaking out about their struggles over the years.

Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, who was U.S. ambassador to Malta from 2012-2016, told her story about serving at the State Department and the White House.

“There was one occasion in the department when a boss touched me and I told him if he did it again, I’d knock the s— out of him. He did not repeat it, but he did try to get me to curtail from the position,” Abercrombie-Winstanley told the Foreign Service Journal, a publication by the American Foreign Service Association.

The former U.S. envoy recalled another incident in which she said she was harassed by a senior lawmaker while serving on the White House National Security Council.

“Initially, I parried the advance from a senior member of Congress, but when he continued to call me, I reported to the NSC’s executive secretary that it was happening, and told him that if I had to do violence to repel it, I would,” Abercombie-Winstanley said.

“I was letting him know beforehand, I said, because I did not expect to lose my job as a result,” she added. “After a moment of shocked silence, he said ‘Thanks for letting me know.’ And the member stopped calling me.”

She later told VOA these occasions are an “extremely small part of my professional journey” and declined to either comment further on details or identify the congressman.

‘Zero-tolerance’ policy

In a letter electronically distributed to all American diplomats around the world earlier this year, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the department upholds a “zero-tolerance” policy regarding discriminatory and sexual harassment.

“Effective harassment prevention efforts must start with and involve the highest level possible,” Tillerson said in his policy statement.

For years, secretaries of state release their statements on diversity and harassment in the workplace at the beginning of their tenure and review annually thereafter. They usually highlight two anti-harassment policies: one prohibiting sexual harassment, the other banning discrimination.

U.S. Ambassador Laura Dogu. (U.S. Embassy in Nicaragua website)

Male-dominated circles

Still, female ambassadors said they must learn to adjust and handle the challenges involved in working in mainly male-dominated diplomatic circles.

“I am frequently the only woman in meetings outside the office with the host country, and when I have control over the guest list, I insist that we include at least 30 percent women, if not more,” U.S. Ambassador to Nicaragua Laura Dogu said in the Foreign Service Journal article.

Like Ambassador Dogu, former Ambassador to Mongolia Jennifer Zimdahl Galt said she has been the only woman or one of the only women in the room at virtually every meeting throughout her career. The key to working in such an environment, she said, is to be well-prepared and a good listener.

FILE – U.S. Ambassador to Mongolia Jennifer Zimdahl Galt and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry past a traditional honor guard upon arrival at Chinggis Khaan International Airport in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, June 5, 2016.

“So you can speak authoritatively and there is no question that you are on top of your brief. It’s also important to dress professionally, which in my book means wearing a suit at all times,” said Galt, who was appointed as principle deputy assistant secretary for educational and cultural affairs earlier this month.

She also said, “Being sure to listen carefully to what others have to say so that you’re not repeating, but rather amplifying and adding value with your remarks.”

Building minority leadership

In a speech to student programs and fellowship participants in August, Tillerson said he had directed relevant committees to develop “minority leadership” at the State Department.

“Every time we have an opening for an ambassador position, at least one of the candidates must be a minority candidate. Now they may not be ready, but we will know where the talent pool is,” Tillerson said.

Seen as part of these efforts, Irwin Steven Goldstein will begin his new position next week (December 4) as the first openly gay undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs.

In Senate testimony, Goldstein thanked his spouse for supporting his career of developing and executing communications strategies that connect diverse audiences. (VOA)

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Vidya Talks about her upcoming Movie Tumhari Sulu and Shares her views on Sexual Harassment

Vidya Balan opens up about her views on Sexual Harassment.

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Vidya Balan
Vidya Balan. ians
  • We should name and shame those who sexually harass others, actress Vidya Balan said on Friday.

After Big B, actress Vidya Balan speaks against women harassment 

“I think people who have suffered this only know what exactly does it feel like when you’re really in an uncomfortable situation. When someone just rubs or touches you with his hand, sometimes I get really angry. So I think in that sense, there are a lot of degrees in sexual harassment.

“I am very glad that people are talking about it now. Women are talking about it and they should talk about it because it is not their fault. We should name and shame those who are sexually harassing others, undoubtedly,” she told media persons here during a promotional programme for her upcoming “Tumhari Sulu”.

After the Harvey Weinstein controversy led to the disclosure of sexual harassment cases in Hollywood, prominent actors such as Irrfan Khan and Richa Chadha have opened up about the casting couch in the Hindi film industry.

Vidya, along with entire “Tumhari Sulu” team including Neha Dhupia and RJ Malishka, was attending the launch of PVR Big Screen PXL here.

The upcoming slice of life drama recently released a rehashed version of “Mr.India” song “Hawa Hawai”, which originally featured Sridevi.

Vidya said that Sridevi liked the song. “After watching the song, Sridevi told me, she found me very cute in the song and she found the song lovely, especially the way we did it… (was) very happy with it. I don’t want to say much, but it would be better if you ask her because I can only tell you this much.”

She also said that the response to the movie has been great but she finds it difficult to talk about compliments which she got from the fraternity.

“I always had a problem with this thing.. I am little hesitant to express someone’s words. Someone sent me a message or told me personally… hopefully quite a few people will turn up at the screening, it would be better if you asked them but so far the response has been good,” she said.

The “Tumhari Sulu” teaser and the trailer has set the tone right for the film and with back to back song releases, the movie is getting much talked about.

“‘Hawa Hawai’ has got a fantastic response and so has the ‘Ban Ja Tu Meri Rani’ song. And today we have released one more song, ‘Manva Likes To Fly’. I love that song because all of us want to fly on wings of our hearts. So far the response has been fabulous.

“There is a lot of excitement for the film because we got a fabulous response for the teaser and then we got an even better response for the trailer. And now you watch the film which is even better. We’re excited and promoting the film like anything and still, we are not tired at all.”

Vidya also said that she relates a lot to her “Tumhari Sulu” character, since, as an actress, she can’t participate in radio contests.

“I can’t call to participate in radio contests because people know me and they would never give me a gift. Sometimes I do feel like calling as I’d have really interesting and mad answers, so yeah, at times I do feel like calling and participating in the contests.”

About the event, Vidya Balan said: “I am a PVR Loyalist; I watch most of my films at PVR. There sound and picture quality is fabulous, it is even better now than what it is normally. I am sure it will be an extremely pleasurable experience for anyone watching films here.”

“Tumhari Sulu” starring Vidya Balan is directed by Suresh Triveni and produced under the banners of T-Series and Ellipsis Entertainment releases worldwide on November 17.(IANS)

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Women Rally Across France to Protest Sexual Harassment, Assault

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Women hold placards reading
Women hold placards reading "Sexism is not my gender,“ left, and “125 women killed in 2016" during a rally protesting sexual abuse and harassment, in Marseille, southern France. VOA

Paris, October 30: Hundreds of women took to the streets of Paris and 10 other French cities to protest against sexual harassment in the wake of the scandal surrounding Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.

In Paris, women gathered in Republic Square, waving signs bearing the #metoo hashtag used by tens of thousands of women to share personal stories of sexual harassment and assault.

Similar gatherings were also held in Marseille, Bordeaux, and Lille, among other cities.

As the #metoo campaign erupted across the United States, a similar campaign unfolded across France under the hashtag #balancetonporc or #squealonyourpig. As in America, French women have begun naming and shaming their attackers.

Since it started, several prominent figures have been targeted in French assault claims, including a lawmaker in President Emmanuel Macron’s party, a judge on France’s equivalent of a reality show “America’s Got Talent” and Oxford professor Tariq Ramadan, a leading lecturer in Islamic studies.

French-Polish filmmaker Roman Polanski, who is wanted in the U.S. for the statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl in the 1970s, has also been hit with new abuse claims.

The avalanche of accusations was unleashed weeks ago when The New York Times and The New Yorker published reports of women accusing Weinstein of rape and sexual harassment going back decades. Among the accusers were some of Hollywood’s most prominent actresses, including Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Rosanna Arquette.(VOA)